Youth In Government - Again
Last night, at their regularly scheduled meeting, the Costa Mesa City Council voted unanimously to spend more than $3.5 million on a chunk of property on the Eastside which seems destined to become another park for our city. Within the past couple weeks this same group got into a squabble over a measly $3,800 for a Youth in Government program, which actually ended up being less than a grand. Don't you just love politics?
Speaking of which, while fighting a cold I finally managed to view the tape of the last council study session, during which they discussed that self-same program. If I happened to be a betting man, I'd bet the farm that every single person in attendance at that meeting was frustrated by the whole event. While we couldn't see the residents and other guests in the room, we could hear their response to the proceedings. Of course, we could see the council and city staff members as the camera panned back and forth. The photo above will give you an idea of how much fun Mayor Pro Tem (and court jester) Eric Bever was having as he unsuccessfully attempted to make a point to Katrina Foley. It's a good thing the table separated them. This image was captured right after Bever accused Foley of "grandstanding" and of being "willfully ignorant", two phrases of endearment that certainly won her over. Sanctimonious horse's patoot that he is, Bever went on at one point to state, "The youth in our community, the seniors in our community, the middle aged people, everybody who has a mouth and a brain and an idea and a viewpoint has access to sharing those viewpoints." He was referring to the Public Comments section at the council meetings, where speakers have three lousy minutes to present a viewpoint. You just have to love the guy and his arrogant disregard for almost any group in the city.
Much has been said and written about the Youth In Government plan that was initiated by Foley a year ago. The Daily Pilot has published a couple articles and an editorial on the subject and readers have chimed in with comments posted online at the Daily Pilot web site. Many of those comments were predictable and purely political in nature. Most of those supporting the position of the ruling troika, whatever it is, seem unwilling to identify themselves and use pen names of two, three or four letters. There's really nothing wrong with anonymity, but one can assume you choose not to have your family, friends and neighbors know your viewpoints, for whatever reasons. Fear and shame are a couple that come to mind.
After the study session on the 13th, the council adjourned to the regularly scheduled meeting of the Redevelopment Agency - the council in a fancy dress. It was interesting to note that several observers from the study session followed the council to the chambers and used their three minutes to address the Youth in Government issue, even though it's not under the purview of the Redevelopment Agency. Wisely, the agency members (council) voted to permit those few speakers to voice their opinions on that issue.
The Youth in Government issue will be on the agenda of the first council meeting in March. It will be very interesting, indeed, to see just what happens. Will Mansoor, Bever and Leece come up with real reasons for not considering the program this time around? Will they offer workable alternatives? Foley and Dixon were willing to bend to their will the last time around, but the majority refused to accept that compromise.